Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend proved to be very busy for Deschutes County Search and Rescue (SAR) and local fire rescue crews. Two calls were received back-to-back on Saturday; and in less than an hour four calls were received on Sunday – sending crews out to injured horseback riders, bicyclists, rock climbers, and homeowners who were warned of possible evacuation due to wildfire.
Saturday, May 26th:
About 1 p.m., SAR crews and Black Butte Fire Department personnel responded to a reported injured horseback ride about 1.5 miles from Graham Horse Corral. A horse rolled over its 41-year old Central Oregon rider, who suffered serious injuries. The rider was treated at the scene, packaged and transported to a nearby landing zone where he was picked up by Airlife and flown to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend.
Then at 3 p.m., SAR and Redmond Fire Department crews responded to Smith Rock State Park for a reported fall. A 23-year old woman from Eugene had been climbing in the area of Mesa Verde when she slipped and became tangled in her rope system. She ended up upside-down, suffering a leg and ankle injury in the process. SAR crews and Redmond Fire Department personnel treated the patient at the scene. She was then transported by wheeled litter to the Deschutes River crossing, rafted across the river, taken to the parking lot, and then transported by Redmond Fire to St. Charles Medical Center.
Sunday, May 27th:
At about 4 p.m., SAR crews and Redmond Fire Department personnel responded to Smith Rock State Park, on the trail below the viewpoint for a reported injury incident. The Redmond Fire Department crew was able to reach the patient, treat her injuries and transport her to the parking lot, where she was then transported to St. Charles. SAR crews were cancelled while enroute.
At nearly the same time, a wild land fire broke out west of Wilt Road in the Sisters area. SAR crews were requested by fire command to respond to the area to notify residents of a possible evacuation. No evacuations were required, and residents received only notice of a possible pre-evacuation.
Within a short period of responding to the first two calls, SAR crews and Bend Fire Department personnel were dispatched to a mountain biking accident in the Phil’s Trailhead area. 37-year old Brian Scott of Eugene was riding alone in the area when he fell off his bike and sustained chest and back injuries. Several other bike riders came across Scott and called 911 for assistance. SAR crews located Scott approximately 1.5 miles up Dry Canyon from the Flying Chicken. Scott was treated at the scene by SAR medics, packaged and transported to the trailhead by all-terrain-vehicles and an “Ambusled”. He was then transferred to Bend Fire personnel and taken to St. Charles in Bend.
At almost the same time the third call was received, SAR crews and Redmond Fire personnel were dispatched to a second incident at Smith Rock State Park involving 27-year-old Karissa Payne of Hillsboro. Payne slipped on some rocks on the trail on the backside of Misery Ridge and injured her ankle. She was treated on scene by Redmond Fire Department personnel and SAR medics, and then transported by wheeled litter to the parking lot on a belay due to the steepness of the terrain. Redmond Fire then transported the injured woman to St. Charles Medical Center.